The Suicide Awareness Showdown will take place on Saturday, November 27 at the Straz Center in Tampa.

Has your life been touched by suicide? If it has, you are not alone, and Apollo Beach resident Celeste Hudson is helping to organize an event this month that will help spread the word about resources available to assist in mental crises and celebrate those who chose life.

The first part of the four-part Suicide Awareness Showdown (SAS) will take place on Saturday, November 27 at the Straz Center in Tampa with a Night at the Oscars theme. Hudson, who works with local nonprofit Live Achieve Believe, Inc. (LAB), is one of the event founders. Her group is working with other local organizations like the Tampa Bay Crisis Center to celebrate those who have chosen life over suicide.

“Suicide doesn’t have a face, demographic, ethnicity or any specific feature—it can affect anyone,” said Hudson. “The SAS is designed to celebrate life, the fact that we have been through so much these past two years and we are still here.”

The event will feature live performances, dancing, singing, poetry and awards which will be presented to anti-suicide advocates. The goal is to celebrate individuals who struggled with suicide and were able to overcome the darkness, while educating and supporting those who are still struggling and those who love them.

“Education is the key to helping all individuals of all ages and genders realize that there are options that will enable them to choose life as they resolve their challenges,” said 18-year-old LAB Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Aniah Danielle Edwards. “As we grieve for those who felt they had no other option, we want to bring more attention to suicide prevention and celebrate those who have chosen life.”

Established in 2019, LAB provides suicide awareness and therapist matching services to residents throughout Florida.

A hybrid event, SAS will offer limited seating at the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall and a virtual option for online viewing. For advanced seating and online reservations, visit www.thelab-inc.org.

Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are still available for this event. To become a sponsor, call 588-5010 or email info@thelab-inc.org.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.